Transitional Modernity
‘Tokyo-Yokosuka 1976-1983’ by Greg Girard

Having spent much of his career in Asia, Canadian photographer Greg Girard uses his work to examine the social and physical transformations of the region. The images here are taken from his book Tokyo-Yokosuka 1976-1983, released earlier this year and showcasing the side of Japan from yesteryears that has been forgotten.

He first arrived in Tokyo when he was 20 years old, after moving away from his hometown of Vancouver, he spent time in San Francisco and Hong Kong. What he planned as a short trip evolved into a much longer stay, with Girard being an English teacher by day and exploring the city with his camera by night. He also wandered into the nearby Yokosuka, where the US Navy based was located back then and home to many bars and clubs.

“It was just so obvious that it was a kind of science-fiction place – that word just popped into my head looking out the train window at the city,” explains Girard in the foreword of his book. Indeed, it was a time when Japan’s economy growing steadily, yet the density in Tokyo was something unfamiliar in the West. Looking at these pictures just takes us back to the mesmeric urban landscape only happening in that time and space.